September 18th @ Free Times Café

Now that September is here it’s time to get serious about baseball; the playoffs are around the corner and the Toronto Blue Jays are in the thick of it. For people who allow sports to occupy some or all of their waking hours, this means it’s a fun time (and now you’re wondering – fun or serious which is it? – OK, it’s serious in the sense that any fun diversion can be a serious thing – that makes sense to me which admittedly is setting a pretty low bar).

As the playoffs loom closer, casual baseball fans suddenly develop a greater interest in the Blue Jays than they did when they team was wandering in the fields of mediocrity (and don’t Maple Leaf fans wish that their team could even find the fields of mediocrity – but that is a discussion for another time). Some more committed (read rabid) fans resent this ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ and find it somehow offensive. It’s not clear to me why this is a problem. It’s more enjoyable to go to a game packed with fans than be one of 12,000 people spaced widely apart in a quiet and largely empty Rogers’s Centre. I don’t hear the team complaining that suddenly there are lots of people who want to watch games or buy merchandise. You don’t hear the players whine about the fact that the stands are so full they can no longer see Phil and Judy sitting by themselves in in the upper reaches of the stands anymore.

GALR performs “Glenora Ferry” at the Sept, 2016 show.

This sort of whinging reminds me of music nerds (and yes I am a music nerd) who can’t stop talking about this really cool band they’ve discovered and why they are the best thing ever and how no one has really heard of them but they are really cool and for a while the aforesaid music nerd is sending you links to their tunes and to bootleg concerts recorded so badly it sounds like the group is playing in the toilet of a train station five blocks away. Then, when people actually do pay attention to this band, and they start playing shows at places with room for more than 75 people and they get articles written about them in whatever passes for the mainstream media these days and they do appearances on TV, then the music nerd stops talking about them in glowing terms and instead complains about how they’ve sold out and how their latest is album is OK but not as good as the one that he or she and four other people bought when it first came out, etc., etc., etc.

I would be remiss at this point if I did not mention to any music nerds reading this missive (and I mean the term ‘music nerd’ in the nicest possible way since, as I indicated earlier, I am one of you) that if you want a new band you can champion and talk endlessly about, might I recommend the group that I am part of – Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room. I think we possess many of the necessary characteristics of a cult favourite band. We’ve been playing together for 13 years and have some videos on YouTube you can direct folks to. And let me say that these videos look pretty good, not as though they were shot by a drunk guy at the bottom of a mosh pit (another thing that seems to be essential for many music nerd bands). This isn’t really surprising for while we have had drunk folks at our gigs – and on stage on occasion – we have never been in any danger of having a mosh pit. This lack of a mosh pit may be because of the type of music we play – good music of course, but not really suitable for thrashing about – or because the place we regularly play at really doesn’t have room for a mosh pit – another plus in the cult band checklist – small venue.

The final reason we would make a great cult band for you to follow obsessively is because you never have to worry about us breaking your heart by becoming wildly commercially successful or even moderately commercially successful or even sniffing at commercial success for that matter. There are two reasons for this. First, we’ve never made an album, and second – and a complete guarantee against success of any sort – we have a bagpipe player.

Intrigued – of course you are. So come along and see us on Sunday, September 18th at the friendly confines of the Free Times Café (College just west of Spadina). The game (sorry, music) starts at 8 pm and there is no cover. Hope to see you there.


P.S. Go Jays!!!!!!

September 18th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Reel Set
Echo Beach
Five Days In May
Drifting Away
Gumboot Cloggerroo
Rocky Top
Praire Lullabye
David’s Tune
Stop Stop Stop
Ahead By A Century
New Speedway Boogie
Sunshine Of Your Love
Saskatchewan Sky
So Long Marianne
[Alan Original]
Half As Much
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Love On A Hot Afternoon
The Rose
It Don’t Matter Anymore
I Go To Pieces
Glenora Ferry